Julianna Lead Teaching
The end of the year is coming up fast, but things are busy as ever in the classroom. Children are as anxious as we are to enjoy the beautiful weather. We have found many opportunities to take small groups outside during the day (feeding the birds, collecting bugs, etc.) and will continue to seek those opportunities to foster relationships among the students. With a focus on the end of the year and eventual transition to the "big kids' classroom" we will begin to utilize some of their daily routines. We also hope to take small groups to their classrooms, so children can see what to expect. In the classroom, a dramatic play stage will be set up in the loft to encourage the natural performers in our classroom, and help others out of their shells. We will also have a body-comparison station at the science table for children to compare hand and feet size, height and weight. Remember, the All School Pizza Party is on Tuesday, May 24th. We hope you can come--it's sure to be a rollicking good time!
Large groups this week will focus on music and movement through the use of instruments (drums or shakers) and scarves or streamers. This will encourage the performance area of our classroom to be used. All children will begin to practice sitting on a carpet square, a routine in the big kids' classroom. This will be a big change for the children, but we think they are ready for it. We will also use songs, story telling and book reading to enhance focus on other areas in the classroom.
Materials: Window pane and plexiglass for painting on
Rationale: To give children an opportunity to paint somewhere besides the easel and to foster a community effort on a large group work. To experiment with light that shines through the plexiglass and window pane.
Skills: Turn taking, creative expression, fine motor practice, cause and effect, prediction, and color mixing
Materials: Daubers and other non-paint markers
Rationale: Give children the opportunity to use new media and experiment with something new.
Skills: Fine motor practice, creative expression, turn-taking, and cause and effect
Materials: Earth clay and tools to manipulate it: pounders, rolling pins and scooping tools.
Rationale: To encourage children to practice motor skills through manipulating the (sometimes tough) clay. To encourage problem-solving and scientific thinking skills through the use of a novel material.
Skills: Fine motor, comparison, hypothesis, communication, problem solving, symbolic representation, and trial and error.
Materials: Sand, small animal models, insect models, and items for creating their habitats: faux foliage and wood.
Rationale: To help children make connections between the creatures we have learned about in books to a simulation in real life. To renew interest in sand as a material, since it's been a long time since having had it.
Skills: Cooperative skills, collaboration, turn-taking, role-playing, communication, fine motor, creative expression and dramatic play.
Materials: Measuring tape, clipboards, hand sizes, feet sizes, paper on wall to record height, scale and face-paint/mirrors.
Rationale: To give children the opportunity to learn about their bodies through sensory exploration and comparison. Children will check height, weight and hand and foot size through measurement. We will also continue having face-paint available for spatial and bodily awareness practice.
Skills: Comparison, hypothesis, experimentation, problem solving, turn-taking, cause and effect, creativity, observation and prediction
Materials: Balls, basketball hoop or soccer goals, trucks, shovels, rakes, buckets, trucks, tricycles, scooter cars, sandbox filled with water and flotation toys such as boats.
Rationale: To allow children to explore varied levels of fine and gross motor skills, depending on their preference. Allow children to explore properties of water and float/sink comparisons.
Skill: Fine and gross motor skills, turn taking, problem solving, collaboration, experimentation, balance, coordination, scientific thinking skills.
Materials: Gardening shovels, rakes, gloves, fence building materials (i.e., sticks and string), bulbs, seeds, and watering cans.
Rationale: To provide the children with the option of exploring the gardening process using real gardening tools along with preparing the garden and planting. To allow the children to continue to practice care taking of plants outside of our classroom. To encourage responsibility and observation skills
Skills: Fine motor skills, exploration, turn taking, problem solving, collaboration, and experimentation.
Math and Manipulatives
Materials: Puzzles of a boat, the alphabet and different colored circles. Rationale: To encourage part-whole thinking, visual discrimination, adaptive fine motor control and connections to other areas in the classroom.
Materials: A winding ramp and cars that roll down on their own once released. Rationale: To promote cause and effect relationships, a fine motor grasp and predictions as well as counting.
Materials: Wooden 'donuts' on a spool of increasing size. Rationale: To promote seriation and sorting by size, to encourage part-whole relationships and step-wise processes.
Materials: "Snap shapes" (wooden blocks with snaps attached for assembly in an open ended way) Rationale: To promote fine motor development, part-whole relationships, and creativity through an interesting medium
Language and Literacy
Materials: Books about curriculum areas (springtime, insects, animals, cities etc) as well as an alphabet puzzle.
Rationale: To allow children to make connections between what they're reading and the classroom or home. To explore books as media for researching topics of interest. To support the development of book and print concepts such as page-turning and holding it correctly. To suport familiarity with first letters of names in the classroom.
Skills: Concepts of books and print, using pictures in books to gain information, using books as inspiration for play or visual representation
Materials: Wooden unit blocks, "city" blocks, wooden trees, blue fabric (for water), small wooden cars, small wooden rectangle blocks, plastic tools and toolboxes
Rationale: To allow children to elaborate their pervasive interest of building cities and driving cars, and repairing other areas of the classroom as needed.
Skills: Role playing, collaboration, team work, imaginative play, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, symbolic representation, balance, story telling
Materials: Bolsters, green mats, assembled to create "mat mountain." Skills: Upper and lower body strength, climbing skills, tumbling, body control, risk taking, turn taking
Materials: A-frame climbing structure, blue foam donut. Skills: Risk taking, hand-eye coordination, jumping and landing, upper body strength, turn taking.
Materials: Blue stairs, foam roller slide. Skills: Stair climbing, coordination, risk taking, core strength.
Materials: Climbing wall. Skills: Hand-eye coordination, upper and lower body strength, stamina, risk taking, jumping and landing.
Materials: Monkey bars, basketball hoop, foam balls. Skills: Throwing and catching, turn taking, accuracy, hand-eye coordination.
Materials: Painted hopscotch track. Skills: Number sense, counting, one-to-one correspondence, coordination, balance, jumping.
Rationale for all: To create opportunities for age-appropriate risk taking with the support of teachers as well as to promote large motor skills and body awareness.
Materials: Scarves, full length mirrors, instruments (see below), curtains, playbills (created by students), and the loft as a stage.
Rationale: To foster children's natural interest in performance in music and theater, to create a safe opportunity for children to perform in front of others and practice taking leadership roles
Skills: Speaking in front of others, creative thinking, turn-taking, social skills, creative expression and social skills
Materials: Piano, drums, xylophone, jingle bells, rainsticks, sandpaper blocks, bells, small scarves
Rationale: To promote pitch and rhythm development. To engage in social musical activities. Explore the cause and effect of noises from a musical instrument. Engage in physical movement in time to music, using the scarf as a prop. Engage in performance themed activities to practice social behaviors.
Skill: Fine motor, hand-eye coordination, pitch and rhythm, awareness of others, cause and effect, imitation